When it comes to Thanksgiving many addicts spend this time of year alone. After repeated attempts to help have failed family members tend to pull away. There may be the belief that the addict does not want to change, or family members may finally give up hope that the addiction will be treated and resolved. Substance abuse issues affect family members and friends as well as the individual with the problem. Previous bad behavior may also eliminate the possibility of spending Thanksgiving with loved ones. Often addiction may cause an individual to lie, steal, and engage in other unacceptable behavior. This may also be partially responsible for any lack of invitations for this holiday. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years are some of the worst times for most addicts, and the rate of overdoses and suicides is usually much higher during these times.
An individual with an addiction may choose to forgo family gatherings out of shame or embarrassment, or they may choose other substance abuse related activities instead. Many addicts avoid family and friends because of the common lectures and concern that is apparent. Loved ones care, and they often bring up the substance abuse in order to make the individual see that there is a problem. It is usually easier for the addict to avoid large family gatherings in order to stay in denial and continue with the drug or alcohol use. The individual may feel like a failure or they may be worried about physical changes that have occurred due to the substance abuse. Turkey day can be one of the hardest days of the year, for the addict and for those who love them.